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Emergency Shut-offs and How They Work

Make sure everybody in your household knows where the shutoffs are for water, gas & electric and how they work. In the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, shutting things down quickly could help protect your home & family. You need to tell babysitters & the neighbour checking your house while you are away. Take family members around to each location and explain how they work.

Water Shut-off

Main Water Shutoff

Shuts off water supply to the entire house in case of emergency or if plumbing fixtures don't have shutoff valves. The valve is probably next to your water meter. It could also be a ¼ turn valve. It's usually in the basement.

If you every have a pipe burst, this is the valve you need to get shut off. It's also a good idea to turn of the water supply to your home if you are away on vacation for an extended period of time.

Toilet Shut-off

Toilet Shutoff Valve

To turn off the water supply to a plumbing fixture, locate its shutoff valve. It is usually located under the toilet.

When you get a new toilet installed by Salmon Plumbing, we will always include a shutoff valve.

Faucet Shut-off

Faucet Shutoff Valve

To turn off the water supply to a faucet, look in the cabinet below. It might be a ¼ turn valve (which you turn perpendicular to the pipe.

When you get a new faucet installed by Salmon Plumbing, we will always include a shutoff valve.

Outdoor Faucets

Outdoor Faucet Shutoff Valve

Shut-off valves for outdoor faucets are usually in the basement ceiling near the location of the outdoor faucet. Sometimes they are behind an access panel.

In the fall you'll want to turn off these valves so your outdoor faucets do not freeze up during the winter. Once you have turned off the outdoor water supply, there is a cap on the side of the valve. Loosen this cap to drain the line into a pail. After the water drains, tighten the cap securely.

Water Heater

Water Heater Shutoff Valve

There should be a valve on the water line coming into the top of your water heater. It's usually a lever that you turn perpendicular to the pipe to shut-off.

There should also be a shut-off valve on the gas line coming into your water heater.

Furnace Switch

Furnace Switch

The shut-off switch for your furnace may be at the doorway to your furnace room or on the ceiling above your furnace.

If your furnace is not working, you'll want to check that somebody has not inadvertently turned it off.

Download Our Checklist

We've prepared a chart that you can print out and put on your fridge. Click here to download.

Other Household Tips:

Sump Pump

Battery Back-up Sump Pump

Be aware of how often your sump pump cycles on and off. Make sure the pit is free of dirt, stones and debris, that could get caught in the pump's impeller.

Do you have a battery back-up pump (shown)? This can protect you from thousands of dollars in damage if your main pump fails. Battery back up pumps should be run occaisionally to discharge the battery.

Battery back-up pumps will also protect your home during power outages.

Electrical Panel

Your panel may have circuit breakers or fuses. Major circuits (furnace, air conditioner, sump pump, freezer, etc.) should be labelled.

If you furnace or air conditioner is not working, sometimes it's a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse.

Gas Meter

Keep the meter free of ice and snow, especially the vent termination of the service regulator (upstream of meter).

If the natural gas has been turned off, do not turn it back on by yourself. Only a qualified gas fitter must do so. The operation of all pilot lights must be confirmed on all gas appliances.

Furnace and Water Heater Exhaust

High efficiency furnaces and water heaters have exhaust vents and intake pipes that will be on the side of your house, near the piece of equipment. These vents must be kept clear of ice and snow. Your equipment will not operate if these pipes are blocked.

Furnace Filters

Know how to check and change your furnace filter. Your equipment operates more efficiently with a clean filter. A clogged filter can cause your air conditioner to freeze up and stop working. A good media filter can reduce pollen and dust in the air and help people with allergies.